How do you deal with Conflict?

Oct 12 2015

This wasn’t in my schedule of blogs, but it has reared its ugly head……… and perhaps is the best follow-on from my blog on Feedback!

So, conflict, how do you handle it? Do you tackle it ‘head-on’? Or avoid it, and hope it goes away? (It rarely does).

The reality is that we are all different – with different personalities, needs, values, backgrounds, positions, and agendas. Meaning conflict in life is inevitable. And for those of you who think that you have never experienced conflict before, I’m afraid you are either in denial, or just not recognising it.

We have all heard the saying that conflict is healthy and that it can help to stimulate valuable conversation and even ‘clear the air’ –but I want to get past that trite statement and look a bit deeper into what is actually going on.

Lets respond to ‘how do you handle it’?

Do you respond ‘constructively’? – Are you able to consider different perspectives, create solutions, express emotions and reach out? – All of which are active responses. Do you also have the capacity to reflect, delay responding, and adapt? – All passive responses.

Do you respond ‘Destructively’? – Winning at all costs, displaying anger, demeaning others, and retaliating? –  All active responses, as you can see active does not necessarily mean positive.  Do you also avoid, yield, hide emotions, and self criticise? – All of which are very passive responses.

Do you have enough self-awareness to recognise your own ‘hot buttons’? –  And by that I mean are you aware of those people and situations that are most likely to upset you and potentially cause conflict to occur.

And with awareness and self-control can you consciously choose your actions and behaviours?

My experience is that good leaders are comfortable to handle conflict and have worked out what works and what doesn’t. It is subjective, to each and everyone of us yet I have found that balance is key.

If you want to know more about your own ‘conflict dynamic profile’, then please get in touch. Why not also carry on conversation via twitter? You can follow me here.



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